Never think that a good game needs to be a complex one. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. If you look at history, some of the greatest games have a set of rules less than a page in length. Games like chess, othello, and Tetris are all exceedingly simple to learn and can provide hours and even years of entertainment. While Pop Answers is not going to be the next “chess,” despite its simplistic nature, it’s rather fun to play.
Pop Answers consists of a simple survey/Family Feud style game mechanic. Every day or couple of days, a new topic is available, such as “Name something you would take with you for an afternoon in the park.” When you click Play Now you have 60 seconds to name the most popular answers based on a survey of 100 people. The objective is to score as close to 100 as you can by guessing what is not necessarily a right answer, but rather a popular one.
The game itself is nothing extravagant. It doesn’t have any shiny new graphics, or amazing sound: In fact, it’s rather drab, but curiously enough it has some quaint charm to the game play that kept me playing through different topics. Maybe it is the challenge to see how smart I am, or maybe I want to rank higher than my competitors, or maybe I’m just curious to see what other people are thinking. For some reason, social or otherwise, I kept playing.
Speaking of social traits, the application is a little different in that regard as well. Yes, it does follow similar trends that other games have. You score, and you have a ranking of you versus your friends. It also adds in a feature that gives you hints towards the popular answers by spending tickets that you receive by inviting friends. At first glance, none of this seems very special right? That’s what I thought at first, but then I was clued in on the intentions of the developer, Mapdev.
If Pop Answers is ever able to reach critical mass, it could use the data to generate results (and potentially new questions) and it would generate a significant amount of data about how people think on Facebook. This would certainly add a powerful aspect to the app and would utilize the social capabilities of Facebook in a truly interesting way.
Pop Answers may not be an extravaganza of graphics and sound, but its simple concept makes it entertaining, if even for a moment. Although I would highly recommend a face lift for Pop Answers, as it would certainly do the game some much needed justice, even with the dull look, you can see some underlying potential. While it lacks in any major social capabilities beyond scoreboards, the possibility of user generated content creates a very powerful opportunity for a more interesting and more social game.